For many people public holidays represent a welcome change in the daily routine. Which countries had the most public holidays in 2008? Where should you go to enjoy some days off? Euromonitor International 2009 announced the top countries with the most number of public holidays on working days. TOURISM-REVIEW.COM invites you to check them out.
1. China, Hong Kong: 16 days
As well as the new two-day weekend, Chinese workers enjoy various holidays throughout the year including New Year’s Day, the Spring Festival, Labour Day and National Day. Those working for multinational companies can even expect a Christmas holiday. Any bank holiday falling on a weekend is now usually offered as a day off the following working week. Annual paid holiday usually comprises of between one and two weeks to be taken at a time which suits both the employee and the firm.
1. Egypt: 16 days
Paid holiday from formal jobs is generally 21 days, with 16 public holidays throughout the year, and two public holidays that fall on the weekend. Most government employees are compensated the following week if the public holidays fall on weekends. Other private companies link holidays that fall near weekends with other days. Therefore these days are usually deducted from the employee’s annual leave.
3. India: 15 days
Government employees receive, on average, one month of paid leave per year but in the private sector employees receive between 15 and 20 days paid leave. In 2007, there were 17 public holidays in India, 12 of which fell on week days. In 2008 the number of public holidays decreased to 15. Indians tend to take a few days around such public holidays and plan a slightly longer holiday.
For Indians the peak periods for travelling are during the school summer holiday in June and the winter break in December while arrivals tend to peak between August and March, as the summer months tend to be too harsh for many inbound travellers.
3. Indonesia: 15 days
At the end of the Ramadan fasting period, Indonesian Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, also known locally as lebaran. During lebaran, many urban city dwellers, especially Muslims, return to their home towns or villages, usually in the rural areas. For this reason, the government usually declares a one-week (five-day) holiday to allow the massive orderly outflow and inflow of people from and back to the cities.
The trend for holidays over long weekends became increasingly common after the Bali bombing of 2002 (which left more than 200 people dead) and the second Bali bombing of 2005. The immediate effect of the bombing was a sharp decline in tourism to Bali, as many foreign tourists cancelled their trips to the island. It is hoped that the long weekend holidays created by the government in this way will encourage Indonesians to travel domestically, especially to Bali, thus preventing the sudden collapse of the tourism industry.
3. Thailand: 15 days
Employees are entitled to 40 days of annual paid leave: 10 days for personal leave; 10 days for vacation and 30 days for sick leave. There are at least 13 national and religious holidays per year. Most Thai people tend to take vacation at least twice a year to join their children’s semester breaks. Children usually take two semester breaks, in April and October of every year.
When national or religious holidays fall on Friday or Monday, it is common for Thai workers to spend those longer weekends for travel in the country or to other countries nearby.
3. Morocco: 15 days
Most Moroccans spend their annual leave within Morocco itself, often visiting family or sometimes simply staying at home. Most take at least two to three weeks holiday in August, and they usually spend much of this time at the beach, usually along Morocco’s long Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Middle-income consumers may also travel to other regions of the country.
7. Malaysia: 14 days
Malaysia has many public holidays each year. Employees are typically entitled to 14-24 days of annual leave and 30 days medical leave. Most holidays are taken at the end and at the beginning of each year as the population celebrates some of its biggest celebrations namely Deepavali, Eid Mubarak, Christmas and Chinese New Year. The holiday season usually begins in November and runs through to February the next year.
8. South Korea: 13 days
Overall leave entitlement remained similar during both 2005 and 2006. In previous years, public holidays have been adjusted to balance out the total number of holidays, and therefore the increased number of paid holidays at work was accordingly offset by the reduced amount of national holidays. The impact of the five-working-day system has changed the concept of holidays as most people are taking the two days of the weekend off. As a result, short domestic trips have seen an increasing frequency compared with longer stay-over holiday trips during the past couple of years.
9. Chile: 13 days
There are 13 public holidays per year. In Chile, some holidays that fall on working days are moved to the following Monday, which allows employees to enjoy a 3-day ‘weekend’. This law was approved partly because the government considers that longer weekends favour tourism.
The most traditional cultural event in Chile is related to the celebration of Chile’s Independence Day, which happens every year around the official day of 18 September. Chilean food and drinks are consumed in “ramadas”, places set up for the occasion to enjoy dancing and folk music, including “cueca”, the official national folk dance, and other Latin American rhythms.
9. Turkey: 13 days
People tend to take their holidays either on public holidays or during the summer. Holidays in winter encourage people to take a trip to warmer places, usually southern parts of Turkey. However, in winter 2007, snowfall was surprisingly rare, and winter tourism faced a crisis of low demand, since there was no snow and therefore no skiing.
Religious public holidays are very common in Turkey. There are public holidays for two religious festivals, as well as three days of national holidays.